On Tuesday 9th October I visited the Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre for the first time. The people there are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. This was just a scoping visit, so I wasn’t sure what I would find. What I did find were two C19th working-class poets previously unknown to me. The first is a Chartist poet and the second a female mill-worker (no names at this stage, I want to save something for the database!). I was just reading the preface to the latter’s volume and the following words leapt off the page:
“My pieces have, many of them, been written amid the noise and confusion of a cotton mill, while an employee therein.”
Exactly the kind of writer that we’re looking to recover on this project!
I’d barely finished noting these words when there was a power-cut and we had to evacuate the building. I’ll be back next week to see what kinds of “pieces” this writer produced.